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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

work + mum = loss of motivation

Like I said on my last post. I have lost interest in blogging. Before exams I'd always blog about anything I come across.. heck, I posted something new each day! Now, it's just... ehhh. so I'd give it a month max til I finally stop  blogging entirely.

But anyway, yes this incident actually occurred to me about a week ago during work. I'm a baker at my parent's asian bread shop called 'Breadtop'. Quite popular among the Melbournian community. Being a baker is pretty fun, if we don't take into account the salary I've been getting. I get paid $10 an hour whereas most of my other friends average about $20. Which means that I'd have to work twice the amount of time to earn as much as they do. But still, working as a baker is actually interesting stuff. When I told my friend LO about it, he said, "so would you call yourself a 'master baker' yet? You seem like a bloke who'd be pretty good with all that stuff"and yes, the pun was the joke.

OK so back to the story. After exams has finished, I've been coming home really late, I'd usually get home at around 2 in the morning and considering that I'd have to wake up at around 7 the next day for work, it's not really the best decision. So last Monday, my mum called me up at around 11pm while I was at my friends - the C twins - house, and said, "oy there's no one working in the kitchen tomorrow so we'd need you to work the whole day alone tomorrow, come home now and get some rest". That would've probably been the best thing to do at that time, but my brain is no longer able to function properly, now that exams are over. The only thing I had in my mind at that time was, 'have as much fun as possible before summer school starts'. And so I stayed. We watched a movie which lasted two hours. Finished at 2am and I was still thinking, 'fun is priority' and so I stayed longer. Watched another movie and finished at 4am. I was thinking, 'oh crap work starts in about 2 hours..... nah screw it fun is more important' and so I planned to stay a bit longer and go home before my mum wakes up, go to sleep for an hour and off to work. I stayed around and before I knew it, my mum called. It was about 6am.

So after that idiotic all-nighter of movies I was barely able to open my eyes while driving home from the C twins' residence. Got home, went straight upstairs and tried to get some sleep. 30 minutes later my alarm went off indicating that it was time for work. Mum woke me up, screamed for being home so late and literally shoved me in the car. I was definitely too tired to even understand what she was saying or doing. Luckily work is a really long way away from home, and traffic at around that time would be crazy. So I had an extra hour and a half to sleep. Very nice. We finally arrived at around 9 and went straight to work. I only had a cookie for breakfast, and had to wait until my lunch break at 1 for my next meal.

Standing there against the bench, half asleep and dead, I stared into the air while my supervisor was telling me how to operate the fry machine (which is probably the worst machine I should be operating at that state). I shoved some doughnuts into the searing hot oil and obviously it splashed everywhere. ow. This process kept repeating for another hour or so, until I was placed to where I was usually stationed, kneading the dough and decorating them.

At this time I was no longer sleepy, but more third-world hungry. Looked around, and tried to find something to chew on. My mum then came around out of nowhere, shoved some random piece of bread at my face and forced me to eat it. To be honest I was grateful, but maybe offer it other than just slapping it into my face. My mum then put an apron on, and I asked her, "what the hell are you doing." and she said, "working. dipsh*t" ok that didn't really happened, I was able to assume that she's working in the kitchen to help me fill in for 2 other bakers who weren't able to come in.

This meant that I had the chance to actually be my own mother's mentor. Even though it's about something as trivial as baking bread, it still felt good to know that I'm better than her at something. The first batch of bread to be baked was the sausage bun, one which I had plenty of time practicing on so I thought, "I got this. she's gonna struggle and I'll laugh at her". Which sort of happened, except for the laughing at her part, since I was way too tired to even move my jaws to engage in any form of conversation.

The next batch to come is the almond custard bun, one which I had trouble working with, as it involves braiding and other random and annoying techniques. So I let my supervisor teach my mum how to make it instead. At certain times, I tend to get competitive, and this was one of those times. I knew that if my mum beats me at making bread, my self esteem would just crumple. It's on.

Whipping out moves like a masterbaker, I flipped the dough in such a gracious matter that even I was impressed. My first bread was done, and I had to admit, it was one of my best. I looked over at my mother, and saw a half-full tray of half a dozen breads done and ready to be baked. They looked stunning and I was shattered. I did notice one thing wrong with her bread, there was not enough space for the bread to rise. Usually we leave space so that when the bread was proofing, it would be able to grow bigger and therefore be fluffier after being baked. So I told her the flaw of her braiding, and she looked over at my single, horrible looking bread and gave me a stare that said, "who the hell are you to tell me how to make this bread, compared to mine yours look like what you'd find up people's ass". My ego felt like it just shrunk to nothing.

The rest of the day, my mum worked on different types of bread and so there were no more competitions. At that time I just lost all my motivation to work and just wanted to go home and sleep. I looked at the clock. 2.40pm. I continue working. Finished 2 trays of a twin sausage bun and looked over the clock again. 3.00pm. Time felt like it was moving slower than a typical old man driving an ancient car in a 40km/hr zone. After some time, my mum disappeared for about 20 minutes and came back with a bag full of onions. She starts peeling them off and cutting them.

Apparently the thing causing the eye to water from onions is that the chemicals released by the onions caused changes in the pH of the eyes and so tears are released to stabilize the acidity. So naturally I started crying as my mum casually cuts away with content next to me. I looked at the clock again, 4.30pm. half an hour away from the end of my day.

As we start packing up, I wiped the grease and dough marks off the benches, while my eyes still water like a faucet.

My day ended with me working like a slave trying to get the grease stains off the benches while crying like a little baby.

thanks mum, working with you a whole day had made me realize that tolerating your nagging at home is like a walk in the park.

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